Storytelling with international millionaires – a creative approach to research

Sarah Hamburger
Spring Research, United Kingdom

Patricia Lawry
Communications Research, UBS, United States


The world is witnessing the greatest growth in wealth accumulation in history. Amongst other things, rising stock markets, soaring property prices and strong economic growth, not to mention jaw dropping bonuses, have helped fuel an explosion in the number of High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) globally and an increase in the value of their assets. Never before have so many people, from so many different regions of the earth, become so wealthy in so short a period of time.

In 1996, Cap Gemini and Merrill's World Wealth Report reported that the number of dollar millionaires had just topped six million – ten years later the ranks of the wealthy had swelled to nearly ten million (growing at a rate of 7.6%). In 2006, for the first time, the Forbes 400 was composed strictly of billionaires. Despite the unsettling credit crunch (and barring the development of a global recession) the ongoing spread of capitalism is producing ever larger pools of concentrated wealth.